I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. ~ Amos 5:21-24
There is a generation who is watching churchgoers.
They are watching as many worship God in the sanctuary, and then move into the world, forgetting to take the sanctuary with them.
There is a world of non-churchgoers who call Christians on our hypocrisy and say, "you worship God with your lips, but then what?"
You've likely been there yourself. As a young person, I can remember looking with glaring eyes at all the hypocrites in my church. I knew they weren't perfect. I knew their lives didn't show God's glory.
Of course, I forgot that mine didn't either.
We've all had our moments of noticing the hypocrites. Including our self hypocrisy, I'm sure.
It's a lifelong battle, this one against our own hypocrisy. It comes from being, as Luther told us, both "saint and sinner."
Perhaps the first step to squaring who we truly are in Christ is remembering that the worship does not begin and end in the church building.
Perhaps it is remembering that it is not simply the sanctuary that is sacred, but the entire creation.
Our homes. Our workplaces. Our neighborhoods.
Although worship has its place, we do well to remember that Jesus' call to his disciples was not "worship me."
It was "follow me."
From the sanctuary to the sacred space of creation.
From the temple into the world.
We are being watched by a world that is hurting for the sacred in every part of their lives. Let's show them what love outside of worship can do!
Lord of creation, help me to worship you with my whole self and whole life by following your example of love. Amen.